Sikhakhane laments lightning and Xulu lapse
Posted: 13 March 2018 Time: 09:40
Royal Eagles coach Roger Sikhakhane says his team was well aware of Siyanda Xulu's aerial threat heading into their Nedbank Cup last-16 clash with Maritzburg United.
Eagles lost 2-1 in a game that was halted for 44 minutes in the 88th minute due to lightning in KwaMashu on Sunday.
Ex-Kaizer Chiefs defender Xulu nodded home a last-gasp winner at Princess Magogo Stadium after Mame Niang cancelled out Deolin Mekoa's opener for the visitors, who had Bevan Fransman sent off before the break for a second bookable offence.
“It was a good game, maybe for it being halted it disturbed us a bit because we were in the rhythm of getting the second goal,” Sikhakhane said.
“But it’s fine, we move on to the league matches that are left to be played. But the way we conceded the second goal it was poor organisation because prior to the game we mentioned the issue of Siyanda Xulu, of how dangerous he is and I don’t know what happened to the players for not picking him up.
“Maybe it was their game plan and ours didn’t work but we have to move forward.”
Masibusane Zongo entered the fray in the 50th minute at the expense of Mazwi Mncube, and notably provided a disguised pass that saw Samuel Manganyi earn a penalty following a challenge from Xulu. Niang converted from the spot.
"The penalty, the ball was from him [Zongo] but I don’t want to single out one player,” he said of the former SuperSport United and Chippa United winger.
“Him entering the fray, it swayed the game a bit in our favour.”
Sikhakhane's side next visit fellow NFD strugglers Super Eagles on Saturday looking to extend their three-point cushion from the drop zone. There are seven league games left.